Prepare yourselves – Chinese New Year is coming.
The lead up to CNY traditionally means huge crowds and long queues as people rush to prepare for the festival – but for those who don’t love waiting, shoving or looking for parking, there’s a quick workaround: order everything online.
E-commerce sites like Amazon, Lazada and Shopee are selling unique CNY items, some from local and heritage brands, while several F&B businesses are also promising home delivery.
Business Insider rounded up 5 of the of the most unique and convenient items you can get online – so CNY prep can resolve itself without you leaving the sofa.
#1: Steamboat ingredients
The sheer number of sellers offering steamboat delivery online means buyers will be spoilt for choice this year. A quick check on all major e-commerce sites showed that every one of them had steamboat items for sale. There are also many local businesses specialising in steamboat delivery, such as Happy Pot and Mr Steamboat.
Those who are selective about their ingredients may want to order ingredients individually, while those who prefer ease can order bundle sets.
Premium ingredients are also available – Amazon, for example, is selling grouper, scallops, crab and mussels, while Honestbee is offering live lobsters and wagyu beef.
Either way, this means you can skip the lines at supermarkets in the days near CNY.
Apart from ingredients, steamboat soup bases – such as those from popular chain Hai Di Lao – are also available.
Various steamboat and mookata pots are sold on sites like Redmart, Lazada and Taobao, and include functions like grills, hotplates, and steamers.
#2: Yu sheng and main dishes
- Chopsuey Cafe
For those who don’t want to cook, some eateries are also offering delivery on reunion dinner dishes and yu sheng.
Botanic Gardens restaurant Halia is selling braised sea cucumber and abalone, while Chopsuey Cafe is also offering an unusual yu sheng made with trout, kale, celeriac, blueberries and wild rice.
Popular food delivery app Deliveroo is also offering delivery on a number of restaurants, such as Peach Garden.
- Deliveroo, Halia
Deliveroo’s delivery services are available on Jan 4 for restaurants including A-One Claypot Restaurant, Crystal Jade, Jumbo Seafood, New Ubin Seafood Restaurant, Peach Garden and Tung Lok Seafood.
Deliveroo is also available on the first day of CNY (Jan 5) for restaurants including A-One Claypot Restaurant (selected outlets), Canton Paradise, Jumbo Seafood (Dempsey outlet), Paradise Dynasty, Paradise Teochew, Peach Garden and Soup Restaurant.
#3: CNY snacks
Apart from home bakers offering handmade CNY snacks online, a number of heritage bakeries are also offering delivery on various sites.
Kele – whose pineapple tarts often rank online among the best in Singapore – is selling its products on Amazon, which is also offering handmade bak kwa from Kim Joo Guan and almond puff cookies from Chinese restaurant Crystal Jade.
Meanwhile, Gin Thye, a second-generation family business famous for making traditional pastries and cookies, is listing its offerings on Lazada.
Even hawker food delivery site Makan Kaki will deliver Kueh Lapis from Glory Catering and bak kwa from Bee Kim Heng just for the CNY period.
The best part? These popular brands often suffer long lines at CNY – so buying online saves you from queuing at their physical stores.
Granted, decoration aren’t heavy, but buying them online means you can score some more unusual items.
Those who prefer a more traditional look can get decorations from stores like Offer & Save, a second-generation local business with over 30 shops in heartland areas.
Other useful items include mahjong and poker card sets for playing games.
#5: Heavy items
Arguably, the items most worth getting delivery for are those that are heavy, bulky, and hard to transport home. These include soft drinks, beer, wine, gift hampers, and canned food such as New Moon abalone – which is offered on sites like Redmart and Amazon.
Another major category is home appliances and cleaning equipment, which will come in handy for spring cleaning. Alibaba, for example, will deliver an electric mop cleaner “for lazy people” right to your door, a portable dishwasher, or a battery-powered handheld jet for washing your car before the visiting period.
Find out what else is happening for Chinese New Year 2019 here.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the unicorn lo hei and suckling pig dishes from Habitat by Honestbee were available for home delivery. Honestbee has since amended its statement to clarify that these dishes require self-collection.